Check Income Tax Refund Status

Last Updated at: Oct 09, 2020
IT Refund Processing Time

Is tax refund taxable? Where do you call when a tax refund is not issued? What are the reasons IT return has not been credited to the account? And, what is a tax refund? These are some of the most common questions related to ITR, and this post answers all of them.

The government can be plenty insistent on paying your income tax on time. There are penalties for late payment, too. But an income tax refund can take any amount of time. In fact, it’s pretty common for it to be delayed by a few months. This causes confusion among many citizens. So let’s discuss the several questions pertaining to getting your income tax refund. For instance, we’ll go over the reason for income tax returns, how to claim a refund, what you can do if the same has not been sent to you by the Income Tax department, and what you need to do in case your cheque goes missing.

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Checking Income Tax Refund Status

If you have filed your Income Tax for the present financial year and have requested the refund, you can check the status of your request.

IT Refund Status

If you have filed your tax online, here’s where you can also check the status of your refund.

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The Income Tax department takes some time to process your request and compute or validate your claim for a refund. Give it a minimum of two to three weeks before checking the status. You will need to know your PAN Card number and the assessment year before checking.

The status of your tax refund can also be checked by calling the following toll-free numbers:
1. For checking refund status of e-filed returns: 1800-425-2229
2. For other filing and refunds: 1800-180-1961
3. For banking-related transactions and queries: 1800-425-9760

Income Tax Refund Still Hasn’t Come Through

There are instances, when, even after filing the tax returns for the year, the refund is not generated. There may be several reasons behind this:

1. The IT department has not still processed your income tax: This can happen to anyone, and all you can do is to wait for a while, before checking the status of your refund. Ensure that you have sent your ITR-V within 120 days of e-filing, to assist in the processing of the refund.

If you have failed to send the ITR-V form within the stipulated 120 days, you will have to repeat the process to receive the refund.

2. Filing your taxes offline: There is a definite time lag between processing of online and offline returns. You may have to wait for the paperwork to be completed, before expecting your refund. However, you can still check online after a few days, to ascertain if your claim is approved.

3. Incorrect Details of Refund Banker: There are cases when a mistake in the number or a change in the bank account can result in your refund getting lost in between. If this is the case, send a communication with the new/updated account number and MICR code to the Assessing Officer. You can find your assessing officer through this link.

IT Officer

4. Incorrect Mailing Address on Form 16: The cheques may not be delivered if the mailing address submitted is wrong. The NDSL/TIN website will have your speed post reference number. You can contact the post office to verify. If you have changed the address between filing the Tax and receiving the refund, it can be corrected through this link.

5. Did Not Request Refund: Have you requested a refund or failed to include certain income/deductions which can avail you of a tax refund? You can still correct the returns online with the refund request. If you have any confusion regarding the same, click the link for further details or speak to our experts.

6. Incorrect calculations submitted: The IT department computes the tax and TDS. If they find that the calculations submitted at your end are incorrect, they will not send a refund for the tax paid. In such instances, when the Tax department finds a discrepancy in the calculation, they will send a notice. You can still support your refund claim, with new calculations and supporting documents.

A discrepancy may also result in the Tax department sending you a notice to pay the extra tax you owe them. Recalculate at your end, keep supporting documents ready, and in case if you have miscalculated at your end, pay the demanded tax immediately or within the time limit allotted by the department.

What is an Income Tax refund?

Income that any of us earn is taxed. If the person paying you the money is aware of your annual earnings (your employer, for example), tax will be cut according to your income tax slab. If, however, the person paying you is unaware of your annual earnings, tax is usually deducted at 10%. As the tax could be more than the amount of tax you should be paying, you may ask for a tax refund in your income tax return. Therefore, an income tax refund is the difference between the amount of tax paid by you and your presumed tax liability. If the government sees reason in your request for the refund, the money will be refunded to you.

Tax Refund and Income Tax filing

Every year, the Government of India urges taxpayers to pay their dues within the due date (usually 31st July, but often extended by a week or two). A person is only eligible for a refund if he or she files the tax by uploading Form 16.
The refund is generated as soon as you submit a detailed account of the income tax you have paid and that which was deducted at source (by your employer or any other entity). If the amount deducted is more than your payable amount, the refund is generated automatically. There is no separate procedure for filing for a refund.

However, you may opt for the mode by which the refund is paid out yourself. The two modes through which the government pays are mentioned below.

After filing the tax, the income tax software will automatically determine the refund by computing the TDS paid versus the actual income tax to be paid, and will process the refund.

It usually takes two to three weeks for the status of your refund to even change. You can expect the refund to reach your account within four to five months of filing your taxes.

How are the refunds made?

To ensure transparency, the refunds are made only through these two modes:

a. RTGS/NEFT: The Tax Department will credit your refund directly to the bank. You will need to provide the following details for direct crediting of the refund in your authorized bank – The 10-digit account number of the bank, the MICR code of your bank (your bank will provide you with the same) and the communication address.

b. Cheques: The cheques for the refund account will be sent to your home address. The correct communication address needs to be given for the same. Here again, it is essential to provide with the right address. A mistake in entering the contact address will result in returning of the cheque.

The taxpayers can select the mode of payment according to their convenience while filing taxes online. It needs to be noted, however, that a simple mistake in the address of communication or bank account, or the refund calculation can result in its delay or even cancellation.

Reasons for Income Tax Refund

There are many cases wherein you will be eligible for a refund.
1. If the tax you have paid in advance on the basis of self-assessment is more than the tax payable on the basis of regular assessment.

2. If your tax deducted at source (TDS) from salary, interest on securities or debentures, dividends, etc. is higher than the tax payable on the basis of regular assessment.

3. If the tax charged, based on regular assessments, gets reduced because an error in the assessment process was resolved.

4. The same income is taxed in a foreign country (with which the government of India has an agreement to avoid double-taxation) and in India as well.

5. If you have investments which offer tax benefits and deductions that you have not declared. You are required to have a detailed list of the following investments and need to submit supporting documentation for the same.

6. If you find that after considering the taxes you have paid and the deductions you have registered, the tax paid amount is in negative. Necessary supporting documents are required for claiming the refund.

The easiest way to file for your tax refund is to declare your investments (your Form 16 should include all investments made, including life insurance premiums paid, house rent paid, investments in tax-saving mutual funds, tuition fees, any home loans, etc.) while filing your IT return and submitting the necessary proofs.

Remember that the filling up of your Form 16, whether online or offline, is mandatory for claiming a refund. Submit the relevant documents for a faster refund process.

FAQs: Income Tax Refund

What happens if I have not claimed my refund while filing my taxes or my TIN status shows that the refund has expired?
If you have failed to claim your refund and have been paying extra taxes you think you could have avoided, you need to fill out the Form 30. Form 30 is basically a request that your case needs to be examined and the excess tax you’ve paid needs to be refunded. Your income tax refund claim needs to be submitted before the end of the financial year. Your claim is to be accompanied by a return in the form (prescribed under section 139).

Refunds not presented for payment within 90 days are expired and cancelled. You need to apply for ‘Refund Reissue’ in the e-filing portal.

Does my income Tax refund earn me an interest?
Yes, an interest of 0.5 % per month or 6% per annum is paid as interest. The calculation is done from the first day of the assessment year to the date when the refund is paid. The interesting point here is that even a part of the month is taken as a full month for interest calculations. However, a taxpayer can claim interest on the refund only if the amount of refund due is more than 10% of the tax payable by the individual.

Do I need to pay tax for the refund received?
The refund is not taxable at all. However, if you have received interest on the refund, then you will need to pay tax on the interest, according to your tax slab.

The status of the refund shows that the amount has been adjusted against the previous assessment year’s dues. What does this mean? Can I ask for a ‘refund re-issue’ in such case?
When you have outstanding tax dues, the income tax department adjusts the dues with the refund amount, in full or in part. You cannot claim a refund reissue in such a case since you owe the income tax department the amount that is deducted.speak to our experts.

To put it concisely, an income tax refund is a difference between the amount of tax paid and the presumed tax liability. The reasons it is not credited can vary from not uploading Form 16 to the wrong address. But all of them can be solved with simple steps.

A lawyer with 14 years' experience, Vikram has worked with several well-known corporate law firms before joining Vakilsearch.